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Rejoignez-nous dès maintenant et devenez membre de notre association pour jouer un rôle actif dans la préservation de notre patrimoine culturel et dans la transmission de ces trésors historiques aux générations à venir. En tant que membre, vous aurez l'occasion de participer à des activités de sensibilisation et de formation. Nous organisons des formations pour les professionnels et les passionnés de la préservation et de la restauration numérique des manuscrits démembrés. Votre soutien est essentiel pour faire avancer notre mission et réaliser nos objectifs communs.

Devenir membre de l'OProM donne droit à la participation aux assemblées annuelles et permet d'accéder à des tarifs réduits pour la Conférence annuelle de l'Association et d'autres initiatives scientifiques et pédagogiques. Les cotisations suivantes sont prévues :

Membre ordinaire : 80 €

Membre junior (étudiants de 18 à 30 ans et personnes à faible revenu) : réduit, 25 €

Membre bienfaiteur : 100 € Pour adhérer à l'Association, il est nécessaire de payer la cotisation et de remplir le formulaire d'inscription en tant que membre, dont le lien sera envoyé dans le courriel de confirmation de paiement. 

Les membres institutionnels peuvent être des départements et des instituts universitaires, des centres de recherche, des fondations et d'autres entités publiques et privées intéressées à promouvoir les objectifs de l'Association.

Les membres institutionnels ont la possibilité de désigner :

1 représentant officiel et jusqu'à 4 représentants qui bénéficient uniquement des droits accessoires (réductions pour les conférences, etc.). Pour adhérer à l'Association, il est nécessaire de payer une cotisation sociale de 150 €.

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What is your institution's/gallery’s policy regarding the acquisition, sale, and exhibition of dismembered medieval manuscripts?

Littera Scripta




What is your institution's/gallery’s policy regarding the acquisition, sale, and exhibition of dismembered medieval manuscripts?
How do you weigh the importance of preserving a manuscript's integrity against the potential benefits gained through the dismemberment and distribution of its individual leaves?
Are there any specific ethical guidelines or principles that your institution/gallery follows when making decisions related to the handling of medieval manuscripts?
How do you balance the need to make historical artifacts accessible to a wider audience with the responsibility to preserve their authenticity and integrity?
Have you ever encountered any controversies or objections from scholars, collectors, or the public regarding the dismemberment of medieval manuscripts?
We assure you that all responses will be treated with the utmost confidentiality and will be used solely for academic research purposes. If you prefer, we can omit specific names or identifying information from our essay.
We greatly appreciate your time and consideration in responding to our inquiry. Your valuable insights will contribute significantly to our exploration of this complex ethical issue.

From Mr. Andrew Lackie, Littera Scripta, Australia

Thank you for asking me to participate in your survey.
Rather than address your questions point by point, please allow me to answer indirectly.
Your questions all come down to the “Otto Ege conundrum” - should manuscripts /leaves be solely in the hands of scholars and institutions or available to the common man? Ege defended his practice of unbinding books in “I am a Biblioclast,” an essay published in in the March, 1938 issue of Avocations. “Surely to allow a thousand people ‘to have and to hold’ an original manuscript leaf, and to get the thrill and understanding that comes only from actual and frequent contact is justification enough for the scattering of fragments,” he wrote. “Few, indeed, can hope to own a complete manuscript book; hundreds, however, may own a leaf.”
I, unlike Ege, do not approve of intact books being dismembered.  I follow ILAB’s policy on the preservation of historical materials, which states:
Members are committed to the preservation of historical materials and should not break complete and intact copies of books or manuscripts.” [NdR: Policy Nr. 25]
I have never dismembered an entire book or even a small fragment of leaves.  I have bought and sold only individual leaves, and the occasional bifolium.  I’m firmly of the opinion that an intact codex is part of a rare and precious heritage that should be conserved in the proper hands.
I encourage my institutional and private clients to respect and conserve the items and to see themselves as simply temporary custodians of the item before it passes on to the next custodian.
Yet what to do with individual leaves?  Trading in them is not a recent phenomenon; they have been bought and sold for centuries as examples of calligraphy, illumination, textual content, fine art, etc.  I understand these leaves were “rescued” from codices that were damaged by water, insects, rodents, fire, overuse and the like.  The good leaves were kept and traded and the damages ones discarded.
My experience is that clients who purchase a medieval leaf do so from a deep interest in medieval history, and that it is indeed a thrill for them to physically hold and marvel at the beauty of a centuries-old leaf.  Many have described it as being “deeply moving” and “having a personal window directly into the  medieval age.”  Should these people be denied that thrill?  If that leaf was held in an institution, would they make the considerable effort to visit and seek out the manuscript/leaf?  I sincerely doubt it.  Would they be as deeply moved by peering at a leaf in a  dimly lit display case, unable to touch it, hold it to the light, turn it over?  Again, I sincerely doubt it, and I suggest that they would be the poorer for it.
So the question you pose: “How do you balance the need to make historical artifacts accessible to a wider audience with the responsibility to preserve their authenticity and integrity?” is the $64,000 question!
Having said the above, I have become disenchanted with the current state of the market which has seen the rise of a few unscrupulous dealers who dismember at will.  I will be retiring in the coming year.
I wish you all the best in what is a very difficult row to hoe.
Bonne courage!
Andrew Leckie
Littera Scripta
Golden Square Vic 3555 Australia Phone: +613 (0) 409 020 768 +613 5400 1054


I was not aware that I had any leaves from the Madruzzo Hours.  I do not follow or participate in auction sales in Europe, so I wasn't aware of the source of the leaves I purchased from [Name of the dealer] nor that it was he that had dismembered the Madruzzo Hours.  I simply bought a few interesting leaves from him.
As far as [Name of the dealer]  is concerned, I've had no contact with him for over 20 years.
As I said in my previous message, I have become disenchanted with the way some dealers, particularly, but not only, in America are operating and will not be purchasing from them any more.
Best wishes,
Andrew Leckie

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